So, I’m knee deep into reading The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by the storyteller master himself, Stephen King. This book came out last year and it isn’t a single fiction from a great mind, but rather a collection of stories compiled of different scenarios. Works of fictional art inspired from past works with twists and stories upgraded for the generations. Today I knocked out several stories including one entitled Afterlife. Now at first glance of that infamous word one will conclude that this story withholds a tale of a character who died or is in the process of and what happens after the white light fades. You are indeed correct, however, this particular tale has a unique twist that I can honestly say I never saw coming. When you fall in love with a particular genre of, well anything, you begin to hypothesize what’s about to occur pages or scenes ahead. I do this when reading a book and watching movies, I even play the guessing game in my head with certain shows that have mysterious plots (i.e. Criminal Minds, American Horror Story, NCIS, Elementary, Salem… etc.) .
The complete left turn in Afterlife throw me for a loop in an intriguing way. My attention was not only captured, but gripped. The main character, Andrews, passed away from colon cancer, he’s surrounded by his wife and grown children as he takes his last breath. Before his eyes completely shut, the Kodak moment of his family is obliterated by the also infamous white light. It leads him to seeing glimpses of his previous years and ends him standing in the middle of a hallway. Down the end of it is an office with the name Isaac Harris on the door. As he stands in front of this mysterious door he ponders the thought of where he is. Heaven?… Hell?… When the news came of his illness Andrews began reading up on dyeing and the afterlife. This particular situation brought the thought of purgatory for front. I wont give the play by play or portray the role of “spoiler alert”, but the intrigue that held my attention was that Andrews was given a choice of two doors. The one on the right and the one on the left. The “right” door led to the inevitable end. The “left” door led you right back to earth to repeat your life, every last minute of it.
This wasn’t an action of reincarnation, the “left” door didn’t lead you back to life in another form, be it human or animal. Think of the left door like listening to your current favorite song on a loop. It repeats over and over again. There isn’t a similar song that plays after it ends and there isn’t a different artist singing it. It’s the exact same song.. well this was your chance to repeat your exact life. To relive every good moment and every bad moment. There was no chance of changing any given moment in order to erase a bad memory. Repeat not a redo. The side effect of choosing the left door was having moments of déjà vu when certain people entered your life or certain places are visited, but you wouldn’t have any memory of dyeing and choosing to repeat, which is why you didn’t have the option of rewriting your history.
If you ask me reliving the same life over and over again due to a possible fear of actually dyeing or due to the disillusion that you can change one moment of bad to good in hopes that it will ripple effect sounds like hell to me. I would definitely choose the “right” door. At least I hope I would, if it’s my time then it’s my time. Messing with fate is a dangerous game with consequences. So, if you were in Andrews position, which door would you choose?